Smart phones and electronic devices are a part of daily life. Yet when you’re driving, it’s important to put these distractions away. Many people still use their phones behind the wheel, and this driver distraction can be deadly. The team at our Houston law firm has helped numerous victims of auto accidents that were caused by distracted drivers.
We’d like to take a moment to consider the dangers of cell phone use while driving, some Texas state laws about such matters, and what you can do to stay safe while you’re on the road.
Cell Phones and Driving Do Not Mix
It’s estimated that on your average day, 660,000 drivers attempt to use their cell phone while their vehicle is in traffic. If you’re talking while driving or texting while driving, you attention is not fully on the road. Even with a hands-free set, you may be driving while partially distracted. This can lead to a number of dangers for you, your passengers, nearby motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Statistics on Cell Phone and Auto Accidents
The numbers attest to the dangers of cell phone use while driving.
The National Safety Council estimates that up to 1.6 million crashes per year are related to cell phone use while driving. Cell phone use accounts for up to 330,000 annual auto accident injuries. Tragically, these kinds of distractions tend to affect teens the most. Around 11 teenagers die each day because of cell phone use while driving.
Texting While Driving in Perspective
Texting while driving is six times deadlier than drunk driving.
If you text while you drive, your eyes may be off the road for four or five seconds at a time. At highway speeds, you can travel the length of a football field in just four or five seconds. Effectively driving blind for such a long stretch of time is deadly.
Texas Laws Regarding Driving and Cell Phone Use
In the state of Texas, there are some specific laws with regard to texting and the use of cell phones while you are driving.
Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone and texting while they are behind the wheel. Even with a hands-free set, cell phone use is totally prohibited.
All drivers, regardless of age, are prohibited from cell phone use and texting while driving when they are in school zones.
Keep in mind that specific laws regarding texting, cell phones, and driving can vary from city to city. It’s often best to err on the side of safety whether in Houston or surrounding areas: avoid cell phones while behind the wheel.
How to Keep Yourself Safe
Always keep in mind that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Put your cell phone away while you are driving and never text while behind the wheel. If you need to make a call, answer a call, or return a call, use a hands-free set. Ideally, calls or texting should be done when you are safely off the road and parked.
For parents with teenagers in their household, be sure to stress the importance of driving without distractions. Do not hesitate to restrict driving privileges if your son or daughter disobeys the law. It’s for their own good and for the safety of others.
Contact the Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec
To learn more about your legal options following a serious auto accident, we encourage you to contact our law office for legal assistance. By working with an experienced injury lawyer, you’ll be able to seek damages to cover injuries and other losses you have experienced.